Thursday, August 31, 2017


Eclipse clipped crescents into the leaves
Wind rippled across the sidewalk

Idée d’jour

Sometimes I think I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
– Diana Britt

Friday, August 25, 2017


Why is it so hard to let go of a resentment?

One of Padre's less attractive traits was a tendency to hold a grudge.  I remember he was upset by Sears and decided to boycott them.  I never did learn what the underlying issue was, but he boycotted that store until his death.

I have the same tendency.  "Holding a grudge" is another way of saying "Holding on to a resentment."

I suppose it to be a form of pride. It's a way of saying I'm right, and everyone else is wrong.  And no evidence to the contrary will dissuade me. Which means, I suppose, that I'm a typical specimen of the human race.

Another way saying this, of course, is to say that I find it hard to forgive.  And, in a fit application of spiritual algebra, I find it challenging to forgive myself those times when I fall short or make a mistake.

It's easier, now that I'm in the elder years, to forgive.  But that lack of forgiveness is a hard habit to break.  I still backslide into lonely self-righteousness.

Sometimes, on a good day, I can laugh at myself. That's the best cure for self-righteousness.  Sometimes, when I make a mistake – one I've made many times before – I can say “There you go again” (helps if I hear Ronnie Raygun's voice).

Sometimes, when someone has wounded me, I can see things through their eyes.  Strive to see the situation from the most charitable point of view possible.

Sometimes, on a good day, that works.

Right now, today, I find I'm still clinging to the ghost of a resentment.  I hope that time will cause that ghost to fade – though, like the ghosts in a Henry James story – time tends to strengthen the hold of this particular resentful ghost.

I keep coming back to a basic notion, one that seems naive on the surface, but still is probably best for my mental and spiritual health: Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have.

The person who offended me is doing the best s/he can.  Her motives were well-intentioned.  I'm doing the best I can to forgive.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Idée d’jour

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
– J.K. Rowling